South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Inc.

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The basis for the article below appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and 

was written by Mitchell Willetts, October 22, 2020:

A Texas Wildlife Center rescued a common animal in a rare predicament earlier this week.“This is a first for us,” the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lubbock said Wednesday, posting a photo of a tiny, mostly hairless opossum.     The Wildlife Center estimates the opossum, which weighs less than 1/3 of a pound, is between 3-4 months old. “She would never survive in the wild,” the Center said, adding, “The opossum will need a winter wardrobe.”  Volunteers were quick to raise their hands, offering to knit sweaters, crochet tiny coats, or donate unused pet clothing.

“What are the measurements for her waist, around her shoulders/neck, and from her shoulders to her butt?” one commenter asked. “I can knit her some shirts and dresses.” Her waist, 4 inches, shoulder and neck, 3 inches, neck to butt, 4.5 inches.

“I’m not really sure how it survived,” Gail Barnes, Executive Director of SPWRC, told McClatchy News. “By the time a Good Samaritan found the animal and dropped it off at the Center, it was in bad shape. “It was really hypothermic, so we warmed it up in the incubator,” Barnes said.  

  

     Since arriving, it’s been eating better than most opossums ever will. “Today, it had crickets, yogurt, cottage cheese, baby food, soft cat chow, and small pieces of beef heart,” Barnes said. “But it really went for the crickets and the yogurt!”


It’s likely the opossum’s lack of fur is a result of alopecia, she said. The auto-immune disease that causes hair loss in people is found in the animal kingdom as well. As a result, Barnes said, “I don’t think this opossum can ever be released.” Still, the marsupial isn’t completely hairless, and Barnes hopes that with time and proper care, they can not only improve its overall health, but promote more fur growth. “She does have a little peach fuzz on parts of the body, so we’re going to feed her a very good diet and bring some of that out - She’ll be in rehabilitation for quite a while.”

     For those interested in donating to the naked opossum's wardrobe, or in helping fund her care, our contact information is here on our website. (Some edits to the original article made by Carol Lee).

October/November update: Unfortunately the health crisis is still ongoing, and we don't know for how long. During the past months, people have been generous to SPWRC and we're sincerely appreciative!
Director Gail Barnes, her staff and volunteers have done a great job of caring for our wildlife, and keeping the Center running.
Fall Open House - and also the tours for that day - have all been cancelled due to the surge in
Covid-19 cases in Lubbock and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, visit SPWRC's Facebook page for lots of interesting goings on week to week!

Important Message from Founder, Carol Lee:

Some of the information on this page / web site refers to our policies, programs and activities prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We hope this will pass eventually, so rather than re-write the entire page, please keep in mind that things are different right now and for the short term at least.  

Call us at 806 799-2142 if you have questions


Important Message from Director Gail Barnes:

     In response to the Coronavirus concerns, SPWRC has implemented procedures for protecting our staff, volunteers, interns, and the public. These changes are being put in place in keeping with the social distancing orders.


                                                                       Our Animal Drop-off Building is still open 24 hours a day, 

                                                                            but we ask that you complete the paperwork inside and leave the wildlife you                                                                                                                          rescued in one of  the cages. 

                                                                              *We will not come out to the building until after you leave the premises.


              Our hours to the public have been adjusted as follows:    Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.     Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon

                                                                 Sunday Closed - Our Animal Drop Off Building will continue to be checked 

                                                                         Thank  you for your patience and cooperation during this difficult time. 

                                                                                Please call 799-2142 if you have any questions.



The Wildlife Center admitted a Flammulated Owl recently.

This photo is of a Flammulated Owl admitted to SPWRC in November, 2000.


The owl in our care at present is expected to recover completely and will be released.

Highly migratory, the Flammulated Owl a very small owl  with dark eyes and short ear tufts.

Its diet is primarily insects.


You can read much more about this diminutive member of the owl species on the web!





Our new electronic front gate was installed! 
There is also a small similar gate on the walk-through section adjacent.
The focal point is a likeness of our front sign, complete with our Mockingbird logo! 
A Mockingbird was my inspiration to start a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lubbock in 1988. Thanks to our "anonymous donor" for the funds to create this! 


South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Inc. is an IRS determined 501 (c) 3 non-profit facility that cares for orphaned, injured, ill and displaced wild animals with the ultimate goal of returning wildlife back to its natural habitat whenever possible.


Busy "Baby Season" is likely to begin in March or April. If our winter continues to be mild, doves and squirrels will be starting families, soon followed by songbirds like Blue Jays, Robins and Mockingbirds in May. 

We'll be very busy during daylight hours 7 days a week. 

If you'd like to volunteer, call us at 806 799-2142 and talk 

with Gail Barnes, our Director  (Many things are on "Hold"

 during the pandemic - Call and speak with Gail if you have questions


The Wildlife Center does not take domestic pets (Cats/kittens, dogs/puppies, pet parrots, rabbits, etc.) 

              This link provides a list of Lubbock Area Animal Rescues that work with domestic pets.  



How can SPWRC help you?


Where you located and what are your hours?  

(Please see information at the top of this page for information during the Coronavirus Pandemic

SPWRC is on Indiana Avenue at 95th Street behind the 80 ft. wall with a wildlife mural. Our official address is 3308 95th Street Lubbock, TX 79423. The Wildlife Drop-Off building in our driveway is open 24 hours a day. 

Volunteers and staff are on site seven days a week during daylight hours only.


Where do I go if I bring you an animal?

(Please see information at the top of this page for information during the Coronavirus Pandemic


There is a white building in the parking lot where all animals check in.  Please fill out an admission slip with information about the animal and you (its rescuer) for our records. 

During daylight hours, a buzzer will sound and someone will come out to meet you (Summer Staff hours – 8 am to 8 pm). 

Weekends and after hours – fill out the admission slip and leave the animal in a box or in one of the cages. Staff checks the building every morning and periodically throughout the day.


Please do NOT try to enter the main property (past the electric gate) or go to the house at the front of the property. 

The Animal Drop-Off Building (pictured) is the point of entry for all animals admitted to SPWRC.



What should I do if I find a:


How can I make a donation of supplies?  Take a look at our Wish List of needed supplies.

  • You may purchase items locally and bring to our Animal Drop-Off Building (95th & Indiana)
  • Or use SPWRC Amazon Wish List – order from Amazon and have it delivered to us

How can I make a monetary donation?

  • Mail checks to SPWRC, Inc. and send to 3308 95th Street, Lubbock TX 79423
  • Through PayPal – our email for PayPal is spwrc2@yahoo.com or use this link to PayPal
  • Charitable donation through AmazonSmile as you shop. Sign up at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/75-2468445
  • Start a Facebook Fundraiser that will benefit SPWRC


Donations are tax-deductible to the extent the law allows.  South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit facility. 

How can I be a volunteer at SPWRC? Forms and Information available HERE

  • Adult Volunteers (age 18 and above)
  • Junior Volunteers (age 12 to 17) during the summer months

Can I visit SPWRC and see your animals?

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is not open to the public except during our Open House events. 

The animals are recuperating and need rest and quiet.

Our next Open House will be sometime in spring.  Details will be posted here and on our Facebook page.


Can I schedule an environmental educational program for a group?

Programs are done for a fee. Funds raised support our operating and general expenses. 

SPWRC receives no funding from federal or state agencies. Contact Gail Barnes at 799-2142 for more information.


Additional Links: